Global climate specialist Wollemi Capital raises ~A$220m in Series A
10 July 2023, SYDNEY
• Wollemi Capital raises ~A$220m in Series A capital raising, believed to be Australia’s largest
• Investor demand substantially exceeded Wollemi’s initial A$100m target
• Wollemi also announces a strategic alliance with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia’s largest bank, underpinned by an equity investment from CBA
Wollemi Capital today announced its Series A capital raising reached ~A$220m (~US$150m), which is believed to be a record for Australia.
Wollemi is a global climate specialist investment firm dedicated to accelerating decarbonisation. It was co-founded in 2021 by Tim Bishop, former Global Head of Macquarie Capital, and Paul Hunyor, former Asia Head of BCG’s corporate venturing unit.
Despite a generally subdued environment, investor demand has far exceeded Wollemi’s initial A$100m target, evidencing strong market appetite for high-quality climate investment strategies.
Wollemi invests in the businesses and projects vital to supporting the global transition to net zero, with a growing team spanning Sydney, New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
The successful Series A capital raising will enable further scaling of Wollemi’s global team across both North America and Australia, continued investment from the balance sheet, and accelerated development of a funds management business.
Wollemi’s co-founders see a once in a generation opportunity to build a climate specialist investment firm of institutional quality, global scale and generational impact.
“We are climate specialists. We only invest in businesses that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Wollemi Co-Founder and Managing Director, Tim Bishop. “But a key point of difference is our ability to invest in the emerging parts of the climate space. We do that by being hands-on partners to our portfolio companies, bringing technical and operational expertise matched with flexible and patient capital.”
Wollemi’s global vision has met with an enthusiastic response from investors. Leading that charge was Trawalla Group, the investment vehicle of Alan Schwartz (AO) and Carol Schwartz (AO), with a US$35m cornerstone investment in 2022. Alan is also a member of Wollemi’s board, while Carol’s current board roles include the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Climate Council.
For Alan and the Trawalla team, investing in climate solutions is not only an urgent global necessity but also “the greatest commercial opportunity we have ever seen.”
“We concluded there was a market opportunity for a pure-play climate specialist with a truly end-to- end offering and an integrated strategy,” said Mr Schwartz. “So we looked for a world-class team with an established track record. Between Paul’s venture capital experience and Tim’s exceptional career at Macquarie, they are uniquely well positioned to deliver that integrated strategy.”
Alongside Trawalla are institutional investor University of Sydney, multigenerational single family office, Cambooya Pty Ltd, and a number of Australia’s most prominent private equity and venture investors.
Also joining that list is Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which today announced an equity investment into Wollemi, underpinning a broader strategic alliance.
For Wollemi Co-Founder and Managing Director Paul Hunyor, “this alliance is all about bringing together the agility and focus of Wollemi’s specialised climate investment platform with the scale and network of Australia’s largest bank. Corporate and customer demand is driving the net zero transition, and an alliance between CBA and Wollemi helps us better connect emerging climate solutions to that demand.”
Andrew Hinchliff, CBA Group Executive Institutional Banking & Markets, said “Our strategic investment in Wollemi is intended to accelerate the innovation needed to drive Australia’s transition across key sectors, as well as develop carbon markets as an important transition tool. It will significantly contribute to the development of CBA’s climate, carbon and biodiversity expertise and our ability to play a leadership role in supporting investments in climate linked businesses as they scale their operations.”
Already an active climate investor, Wollemi has closed three transactions across the US and Australia. The team is currently pursuing a pipeline of further investment opportunities.
“We will use the proceeds from the raising to continue to invest in the thematics that we believe in,” said Mr Bishop. “We are excited by the opportunities that are rapidly emerging in food, agriculture and natural capital, among others. We’re already world-class on natural capital and the decarbonisation of agriculture, so that’s been an early focus for us.”
This is reflected in Wollemi’s initial investments, which include Pachama, a nature-based carbon credit platform. Pachama utilises AI, satellite imagery, remote sensing and machine learning technology to measure the carbon stored in forests, bringing a new level of integrity to forest conservation and reforestation projects.
Wollemi also co-led the US$75m Series B funding round for Loam Bio with Lowercarbon Capital. Loam has developed a biological seed coating for use by crop farmers which not only improves soil health and yield but allows them to bind additional carbon in the soil, creating a second form of income.
Loam CEO Guy Hudson commented, “We’re excited to work with Wollemi. In addition to capital, Wollemi bring a genuine depth of knowledge in developing, deploying and scaling climate solutions, which they have already used to help us accelerate our growth.”
Most recently, Wollemi participated in the US$16.5m Series A of agtech startup Pluton Bio, which is focused on unlocking the potential of microbes to create improvements in soil fertility, pest and disease control in addition to greater carbon sequestration.
Wollemi continues to invest in growing its global team, which currently numbers 16 staff across Australia and the United States.
Wollemi and CBA announce strategic alliance, equity investment
To view CBA’s announcement, and for additional downloadable media assets in connection with the strategic alliance, click here.
About Wollemi Capital
Wollemi is a global climate specialist investment firm. Wollemi is focused on investing in and supporting climate solutions businesses in the food and agriculture, natural capital, energy transition and climate services sectors, with an aim of reducing or abating global greenhouse gas emissions. Wollemi’s team has been at the forefront of climate investing for over 10 years, bringing together an unparalleled combination of industry experts with deep investor knowledge and operational expertise.
For media enquiries please contact:
Alistair Forgan, Marketing & Communications Director, Wollemi Capital on +61 408 345 033 or email email@example.com
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